A reader asked the above fair question in comparison with science, based on an article I posted referencing Mike Pence’s disturbing stance on evolution.
The reader supports his question:
I’ve been thinking for a while – the areas of contention seem to mostly revolve around global warming, abortion, (when is the fetus “alive”) evolution, etc, and it seems to me now that more and more individuals adopt a view on science that is driven by ideological groupings (scientism amongst progressives, denialism amongst conservatives) and less and less by facts, (and, eek, math – when it applies).
Humans are pattern-seeking animals. If we cannot find a pattern we will make one up. Yes, theologies are by definition absolutisms, albeit their extraordinary claims have lacked the extraordinary proof needed to remain sustainable. Science, in the words of Feynman, is the study of nature, a probability theory of relativity craving the discovery of new higher normalizations of hierarchical truth to disprove and improve itself.
So, false claims (as all manmade theologies make) frozen in time making money off greater-fools ought not to be confused with a proxy of truth enhanced by the expanding fractal of discovery aiming to serve all.
However, as in any “line of business”, quite a few “scientists” make false claims too, relegating them to the catacombs of religion and soiling the reputation of science. Not all science is created equal. It behooves us to keep holding scientists to evidentiary account too before we accept their claims.
The reader continues:
If that’s true (and I concede that it may not be) – that our society is breaking up into factions who are each in a struggle to control the available resources, why would anybody have the incentive to accept truths which they do not perceive will benefit them in the short run?
Truth is not absolute. Rather, truth is a theory of hierarchical relativity, like all things in nature. Yes, people have a tendency to be selfish and focus on the short run, for the sake of survival, and deploy many variants of make-believe to cunningly dominate others.
That is why we need smart leadership capable of pairing the plurality of convulsions of short with the collective interest in long. The very reason why government exists in the first place.
More on the relativity of truth here.